After temporarily replacing Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain in 2018, Adil Ray has become a regular face on the ITV breakfast show. With his friendly brummie accent and witty sense of humour, when we speak to Adil it’s not long before he’s divulging on his love life.
“I’m looking for The One,” he tells us. “Dating in lockdown is difficult – I just need the right girl to settle down with!”
The 46-year-old, who fronts new game show Lingo, also tells us how inspiring he finds working alongside co-presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper is still in hospital after contracting coronavirus in March last year.
Here, Adil reveals to OK! whether he thinks his GMB co-star Ranvir Singh really did find romance on Strictly Come Dancing, and discusses the difficulties of living alone in lockdown..
What do you like about Good Morning Britain?
There’s a level of entertainment and lightness to it. I think people really responded to that throughout the pandemic. They know we’re having a tough time, so it’s important to have a bit of fun where we can.
Which of your co-presenters do you get on with the most?
I always end up co-hosting with the female presenters, who are all brilliant. I’m not just saying that – they really are. They’re super smart. I would say I present with Kate Garraway the most.
How is Kate?
She’s had such a difficult past 12 months and it’s been so tough for her. But being with her in the studio during this time really is inspiring. We’ve all gone through our own personal issues, but you look at Kate and think, “Well, I’ll keep doing what she’s doing!” She can dust herself down, look fantastic, get in front of the cameras and be utterly brilliant when we know what she’s going through in life. She inspires so many.
How do you think she’s remained so strong?
She’s just got amazing willpower. She even showed it when she went into the jungle. There’s always been something special about her and she can just build this courage. I’m absolutely sure that when she goes home it must be tough and she must have moments of complete despair. But life has to go on and she has to move forward or she’s being defeatist. I think coming into work and doing her TV show is really helpful. It’s a real privilege to be around her.
What’s it been like working with Ranvir Singh?
It’s been great! She kept Strictly very quiet. It was quite funny actually because I remember messaging and saying we should wind up viewers about us doing it. She said to me, “Are you doing it?” I said I wasn’t and asked if she was, to which she replied, “No, of course not!” So it went on to cause a grey area about whether or not we were taking part, when all along she was [laughs].
Do you believe all the romance rumours about her and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice?
Is it true? Is it not true? Who knows! I think it’s great. She’s lovely, and he’s amazing, so why not? I suspect they’re probably just mates. Everyone wants to see some love and happiness this year and they both deserve it. I think if she was, she’d keep it to herself anyway.
What about you, is there anyone special in your life at the moment?
No, I’m completely single at the moment – looking for The One!
Lots of people say how difficult being single has been over the last year. Do you agree?
Yeah, I completely agree. I’ve been single for a long time. When the first lockdown happened, I thought it would be OK because we’d be back out and dating by Christmastime. It’s frustrating. Even if you get introduced to somebody and you’re chatting to them online, how long do you do that for? There comes a point where you’ve got to meet. I’m glad we have a support bubble, because otherwise when you’re living on your own and are single you could go a bit crazy.
How have you found living by yourself in lockdown?
It hasn’t always been easy, it’s been hard. When we were allowed people in our gardens, that was great for me. Now I’m in a support bubble with my brother and his kids. Lockdown has taught me how great my family are, but I really do miss my friends. But at the same time, it’s a time to reflect and learn about yourself.
Have you suffered with your mental health at all?
I wouldn’t say in a huge way, but to an extent we all have to look after our mental health. It’s about nurturing yourself. I’ve always tried to cook and not have too many takeaways. I’ve learnt to bake new cakes and to cook curry properly, too.
Do you dream of starting a family some day?
I think my career will always be a focus for me, but I also want the right balance with my personal life. Yes, one day that’ll be me settling down and starting a family. That’ll be fantastic. It’s just about finding the right girl to settle down with! Maybe she is out there,
but let’s just get through this lockdown first. I’m slightly worried about what we’ll all be like when we come out of this. We might be like dogs on heat and taking the first person we come across. I might jump on the Amazon delivery driver [laughs].
You’ve dabbled in acting. What was it like filming with Dame Judi Dench for your first film, Blithe Spirit?
I loved playing alongside her! She’s a national treasure and I was so nervous when I first filmed with her. I was like, “Don’t mess your line up!” But she went first and got her line wrong. If Dame Judi Dench can get her line wrong then so can I. She just looked at me and said, “Adil, that was for you!”
Tell us about presenting your new game show, Lingo…
It was so much fun to film! Meeting people who walk away with thousands of pounds, you realise how much it’s going to change their lives. I felt privileged to bring joy to people’s lives.
Lingo is on ITV at 3pm on weekdays and is also available on the ITV Hub. Adil can be seen starring alongside Dame Judi Dench in the new adaptation of the Noël Coward comedy classic Blithe Spirit, available to watch now on Sky Cinema